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Barrington parental responsibility lawyer

When parents decide to get divorced, the future of their child will be one of their primary concerns. No parent wants to give up time with his or her child, but when a couple splits up, changes to parent-child relationships are inevitable. During their divorce, parents should be sure to understand how Illinois law will affect decisions about the allocation of parental responsibilities.

What Is Parental Responsibility?

In 2016, the word “custody” was removed from Illinois family law and replaced with "allocation of parental responsibility." Another common term, “visitation,” was replaced with "parenting time." Parental responsibility includes the right to make decisions for a child, and it is usually shared by both parents in some capacity, unless one parent is seen as unfit. These decisions involve religion, education, medical care, and other important choices a parent makes for a child. 

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Schaumburg divorce attorney summer parenting plan

Summer vacation is what students look forward to all year. However, if a couple gets a divorce, there can be much uncertainty around this time of year for parents and children alike. Without school to fill children's daily schedules, an entirely different schedule within your parenting plan may be necessary.

What Is a Parenting Plan?

When a married couple with children gets divorced, they must create a parenting plan. This is a court order that specifies how children will be taken care of after a divorce. The parenting plan will explain the amount of time each parent gets to spend with a child, and how parents will make decisions about raising their children. In Illinois, the terms “custody” and “visitation” have been replaced by “parental responsibilities” and “parenting time.” Instead of dividing legal and physical custody of children, parents may divide or share decision-making responsibilities, and each parent will typically be given parenting time with the children.

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Arlington Heights divorce lawyer

While divorce is difficult on the adults involved, it can be especially traumatic for the children a divorcing couple shares. How you handle the divorce can have a lasting impact on your children’s lives.  

One of the biggest concerns parents have when getting a divorce is when they will see their children. In Illinois, there is no longer “custody.” Parental responsibilities are determined and parenting time is decided and maintained through a parenting plan. A parenting plan determines which parent the child spends time with and when. Other details such as school pickups, holidays, and extracurricular activities will also be covered in your parenting plan. 

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Posted on in Divorce

Palatine divorce lawyers

A married couple may decide to start a family, but what happens if that couple decides to get a divorce while expecting a child? A divorce and pregnancy are stressful on their own, but experiencing them together presents a unique set of challenges. In Illinois, a pregnancy in no way restricts your ability to end a marriage, but there are some reasons a family may choose to delay divorce finalization until after the child is born. 

Whether this is a first child or a new addition, it will be important to discuss what is best for your growing family. Although you and your spouse may not see eye to eye anymore, reaching common ground about an unborn child and divorce will reduce everyone’s stress. Consider some of these points when making decisions about your divorce with a baby on the way. 

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Posted on in Divorce

Schaumburg family lawyer

When children are young, birthday parties are a way to make them feel special, with family and friends in attendance. However, after a divorce, celebrating a child’s birthday may feel like a complicated and daunting task. Your child deserves to have a great day, but seeing your ex-spouse and being reminded of your divorce may not be the best situation for everyone involved. You may also feel increased pressure to make things perfect for your child, especially if you are recently divorced.

To start, your parenting plan may have all the answers. You might have communicated what to do for family birthdays in your divorce agreement. A parenting plan dictates which parent a child spends time with and when. Maybe that was a while ago, and things have changed, or it was not included at all. 

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Posted on in Child Custody

Arlington Heights Divorce Attorney

Child custody, known as the allocation of parental responsibilities in Illinois, is one of the more complicated aspects of a divorce. Despite your opinion and feelings about your ex-spouse, you both still have the common ground of loving your children together. No one wants to feel like their children are taken away, or that they are being purposely kept from them. With the right parenting plan, you can create a schedule that benefits everyone. 

In recent years, Illinois has implemented changes to family law procedures regarding divorce and children. Along with the change from child custody to the allocation of parental responsibilities, the terms “sole” and “joint” custody are no longer used. Visitation is also an outdated term, and parenting time is now used in its place. 

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Schaumburg Divorce Lawyer

Your adolescent child may be closer to being an adult than an infant, but your son or daughter is at a transitional time in their life when it comes to emotions and self-esteem. Teenagers may appear adjusted to the idea of their parents getting a divorce, but they often take it harder than younger siblings. 

The World Health Organization classifies an adolescent as someone between the ages of 10 and 19. There are many things a child in that age frame can worry about, from acne to getting into the right college. The pressure to do well in school, maintain a social life, and participate in extracurricular activities can be overwhelming. On top of that, from puberty onward, there are physical and emotional changes that have a significant impact on a teenager’s life. 

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Posted on in Divorce

Schaumburg Divorce Lawyers

No matter what holiday you celebrate this time of year, if you are recently divorced with children, it can be difficult to let go of your ex-spouse and the times you had. Family holidays like Christmas typically increase the level of communication between you, and if this is your first holiday season after your split or divorce, planning festivities may feel like a daunting task. Your parenting plan is a great place to start. 

A parenting plan should provide a breakdown of all important holidays. School-aged children have extra time off this time of year, so your plan should reflect that in a manner that is fair to both parents. Splitting a child’s time off and allowing each parent to have either Christmas or Christmas Eve is a good way to go. 

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Schaumburg Divorce Attorneys

Enlisting children in extracurricular activities builds confidence and opens doors to different interests. Participating in music, sports, or clubs as a child can create lifelong skills and passions. 

A break in the family, such as a divorce, can make life feel uncertain for your children, and create conflicts between parents. Perhaps one parent thinks the violin lessons are going nowhere, or horseback riding lessons are too expensive, while the other disagrees.

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Schaumburg Divorce Attorneys

Did you know married couples with teenage daughters are more likely to get divorced than those without? Still, it is much more than the occasional screams and door slams from a teenage girl that leads to a divorce.

Both male and female teens go through dramatic changes during those years, and divorce can turn things even more traumatic. This change may pile up on everything else they are feeling. 

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Posted on in Divorce

Schaumburg Divorce Attorneys

Thanksgiving starts the holiday season that recently divorced couples sometimes dread. When children are involved, holidays like Thanksgiving that are family based often get complicated. While your parenting plan likely covers holidays and other special dates, that does not mean it will be an easy time emotionally. 

Cooking for a large group of people is intimidating enough. Here are some tips for surviving your first Thanksgiving after a divorce:

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Schaumburg Divorce Attorneys

Illinois is an equal distribution state, which means when assets are split between two parties in a divorce, the judge determines what is a fair division. This does not mean assets are split 50/50, however, and numerous factors are considered, including:

  • Length of the marriage.
  • How much each spouse makes.
  • Health and age.
  • Standard of living.

If the home you and your spouse lived in was marital property, one person will typically be granted the family home. This is usually the spouse who has primary residential care of any children under the allocation of parental responsibilities (formerly called custody). For the other spouse, this means finding a new residence. 

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Posted on in Divorce
Explaining Divorce To Young Children

South Barrington divorce lawyer parents and childrenGetting a divorce is rarely an easy process, and it is further complicated when children are involved. A divorce with children brings up the topics of child custody (allocation of parental responsibilities), visitation (parenting time), and child support. By choosing the right attorney, you can alleviate the stress of planning your upcoming divorce while ensuring that your rights are protected as you and your ex-spouse plan for how to continue to raise your children together after the end of your marriage.

No matter the feelings between the parents, it is important to talk with children and discuss what divorce entails for your family. Depending on their emotional maturity, older children may have an easier time understanding divorce, but younger children often struggle to understand and adjust to the changes in their lives. Here are some guidelines for discussing divorce with children who are six years old or younger: 

Zero to 18 Months Old

A child this young barely has the developmental skills to form a proper sentence, let alone discuss or understand their parents’ divorce. However, children at this age can pick up on tension at home. Hold off on discussing the divorce in detail with children this young until they are older. Ease the stress on your infant by remaining consistent with them in your daily routines. This means taking care of yourself, ensuring that you will be able to continue to provide quality care for your infant during and after your divorce. 

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4 Tips for Back-to-School Time for Newly-Divorced Parents

Arlington Heights divorce lawyer back to school“What did you do this summer?” This question is often asked when children go back to school, but for some children, summer was not all pool parties and playgrounds. For a child whose parents got a divorce over the summer, this question can be intimidating and stressful. A child who has divorced parents can exhibit certain behaviors and symptoms in school which can affect their education if not handled properly. The logistics of having a child in school can be complicated for any family, and a family with divorced parents can experience more stress and trouble than others. However, by following these tips, you can help your child’s school year go more smoothly:

1. Determine Who Will Pay for School Supplies

A new school year means new school clothes, shoes, uniforms, backpacks, and lunch boxes--not to mention the long list of school supplies. These costs add up quickly, so you should determine how they will be divided between you and your ex. If you already have a preset arrangement, stick to that. If not, dividing the cost in half is usually a good way to meet your child’s needs without causing conflict.

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3 Tips For Successful Co-Parenting After an Illinois Divorce

Palatine child custody lawyerA new and increasingly popular trend for child custody arrangements after a divorce is co-parenting, in which both the mother and father play an active role in their child’s life, even though they are no longer together. This ensures that children can still have close relationships with both of their parents after divorce. Joint custody arrangements can be exhausting and riddled with stress, but co-parenting arrangements can benefit children greatly. These tips can help you become a great co-parent after divorce:

Aim For Consistency

Divorce can affect children just as much as it affects adults. Now that both parents are not around at the same time, and the child may be moving from household to household, consistency is key for raising your children. You should try to maintain the same rules, expectations, disciplines, and schedules in both parents’ homes to avoid confusion. Rules about homework, curfews, and things the child is and is not allowed to do should be kept the same, along with the consequences for breaking those rules.

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What Is Parental Alienation, and How Does it Affect Divorce Cases?

Barrington divorce attorney parental alienationChildren deserve to have a good relationship with both their parents, but this can sometimes be difficult after parents decide to divorce. Children often struggle to understand the reason for the end of their parents’ marriage, and they can have difficulty adjusting to dividing their time between two homes. Unfortunately, the emotional distress they experience is sometimes made even worse when one parent attempts to negatively influence their children’s relationship with their other parent. This is known as parental alienation, and it is important for divorcing parents to recognize when it is occurring and understand their legal options.

Forms of Parental Alienation

Parental alienation occurs whenever a parent attempts to influence their children’s feelings about the other parent, and it can take a variety of forms, including:

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Helping Your Adult Children Cope With Your Divorce

Arlington Heights divorce lawyer adult childrenWhen parents of minor children decide to divorce, they will often put a great deal of thought into how the end of their marriage will affect their children and do everything they can to ease children’s transition into a new situation in which they live in two separate households. However, parents should realize that their divorce can also make a big difference in the lives of their adult children. Even though parental responsibility, parenting time, and child support may not be an issue for parents of children who have moved out of their childhood home and begun to support themselves, it is still important to understand how divorce affects adult children.

Protecting Adult Children of Divorce

After their parents’ divorce, adults are often reluctant to make commitments in their own relationships, or they may stay in a bad relationship in hopes that they can avoid repeating their parents’ mistakes. If you are the parent of adult children, you can help them deal with your divorce by following these tips:

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Schaumburg divorce attorney, children and divorce, divorcing parents, divorce and communication, divorce processWhen a marriage is falling apart, every member of the family will be going through a great deal of emotional turmoil, and during this chaotic time, spouses will often be focused on their legal requirements, their finances, their changing living arrangements, and their own emotional needs. However, divorce can be especially hard on children, and parents should be aware of the potential negative effects that the end of their marriage can have on their children, including:

  1. Emotional distress - Children of divorcing parents are likely to experience a great deal of anxiety and stress, especially when they are at a young age. Children often cannot fully understand why their lives are changing, and they may blame themselves for the end of their parents’ marriage. This emotional distress can lead to mood swings, irritability, depression, behavioral problems, and lower academic performance.

  1. Parental relationships - Children who are used to having both parents in their lives may struggle to adjust to a new situation in which they spend less time with each parent. While some couples are able to work out an agreement in which children spend equal time with each parent, in most cases, children will spend the majority of time with one parent, and their relationship with the other parent may suffer.

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children and divorce,  Schaumburg divorce lawyer, divorce at different ages, effects of divorce, divorce processWhen parents decide to end their marriage in divorce, the split can be difficult for everyone involved. During divorce, children often struggle to come to terms with the end of their parents’ relationship and adjust to living in two different households.

While divorcing parents are often focused on resolving legal issues and determining what their life will look like post-divorce, they should also be sure they understand how their children will be affected.

Divorce’s Effects and Children’s Age

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Posted on in Divorce

Palatine divorce mediation attorney, divorce mediation, divorce process, children and divorce, divorce and communicationWhile some people see the end of their marriage approaching, others find that divorce is unexpected. But whether they are ready to divorce or not, people will often be blindsided by the legal complexities and financial costs of dissolving their marriage.

Divorce can be expensive and difficult, but one way to make the process easier is through mediation. If couples are able to work together with a trained mediator to resolve the issues in their divorce, they can complete the process much more quickly and efficiently. 

Consider the following four benefits of divorce mediation:

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